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Dublin: 23 °C Wednesday 23 July, 2014

9 ways to spot the fan who only does Heineken Cup

Johnny-come-latelies: can’t live with ‘em, can’t balance the books without ‘em.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

YOU’VE WORKED HARD.

You’ve waited patiently for the Pro12 to begin, tirelessly rolled yourself out of bed in time to watch the Rugby Championship and powered on through to an Ulster Bank League fixture. Not because you want to impress anybody, no. Because you love your rugby like John Mullane loves his county, and the more you know the more intricate story-lines you can enjoy.

Now, you’re ready for the pay-off, the European Cup. The eyes of (six countries in) Europe are on your team… but hold on, there’s something a little odd about the the words being shouted by the person in front of you.

Here’s a few helpful hints to help you clarify who’s dyed-in-the-wool and who’ll be following the crowd elsewhere next week.

‘Who’s this Madigan/Keatley lad? I don’t rate him’

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©INPHO/James Crombie

They’ll Suggest replacing second rows with ball-playing back rows as a way of improving any team

Nick Williams would make a huge impact as a lock, right?

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©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

‘Kick it! Penney’s gameplan just isn’t working’

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Even through his mad shades, Darragh Casey from Youghal can see it’s all coming together. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

They’ll make noise during kicks…

They’ll try to justify making noise during kicks.

Then continue to try justify it even after it’s explained that the silence makes it harder for away kickers.

Once quiet, for their own place-kicker, they’ll be the one shouting “get over” straight after contact.

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©INPHO/James Crombie

‘That scrum looks different – why didn’t he say engage?’

Well, the ref hasn’t been saying engage for ages.

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©INPHO/Billy Stickland

‘Whaddya mean there’s a TMO for that knock-on’?

Every new season brings new refereeing developments, but we’re all up to speed now, right?

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©INPHO/Colm O’Neill

‘Do Connacht still have a team?’

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©INPHO/James Crombie

An endless thesaurus for a simple word, beer

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The sudden massive outrage upon the realisation that the games are not on RTE this weekend

‘I demand to know why this vital part of our sporting heritage is on Sky’.

Wait ’til the Connacht fans tell them about the red button.

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©INPHO/James Crombie

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